A Return to 1980s Memphis: Finding The Furniture Center


I grew up in the 80s in Memphis, Tennessee.
It’s a wonderful city that has a very interesting history, lovely people and plenty of beautiful,
historic buildings. Well a few nights ago, I found this old commercial on YouTube… When you come through our door, we’ll meet
you with a smile! Help you find what you’re looking for, just to fit your special style.
Because we want to be a friend of the family! A friend of the family! We know what a home
should be… The Furniture Center. A friend of the family. Now at first I laughed it off and continued
watching other videos. But less than an hour later I decided that I wanted to find where
this building is located, just out of curiosity. So. First… my reaction to the commercial
is a reflection on my personality, and that is that I immediately thought this guy was
cool. This looks like he’s loving the 80s. Here he’s convincing these ladies to come
to his house party later. These two are only in the commercial for 3 seconds. This guy
loves mattresses. Sanford and Son on the tv. And he sold everything to this family. So as I said I wanted to find out where this
store is located. I looked at the end of the ad which wasn’t much help. This got me thinking…
how do you find the address for a company that’s no longer around, and especially
for a company that may have closed before the internet? I tried a few different searches for the store.
I couldn’t find any old phone books online, nor was I about to buy one from eBay. Also
no luck with old newspapers or library archives. I decided to try the terms ‘search old businesses’
without quotes, and that led me to dobsearch.com. I searched for the store and found several
locations in the results. 3225 S 3rd Street. Nope. 2985 Lamar Avenue.
Not it. 5360 Knight Arnold Road. Negative. 4121 Elvis Presley Blvd? Nope. And 3523 Lamar
Avenue. Also not it. The last result was 2850 Austin Peay Hwy.
At first I noticed it’s a 2-story building and you can see here that the store was only
one story. But notice the stone wall. It’s similar to what you see in various parts of
the commercial. I looked around the building. And that’s how I found it. At first I wasn’t
sure since you can see that there’s a car parked under an overhang in the commercial.
My theory, and yes I have a theory about this very important subject, is that the the overhang
was removed from the building and parking lot, and that’s why this part of the lot
was paved with new asphalt, while the other part of the parking lot was kept the same
and looks older. And that’s how I found The Furniture Center.
I now feel like I’ve met a friend of the family. And so do you. The Furniture Center… A friend of the family…

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